Security concerns among reasons for removal of Camp Street Vendors
By Bibi Khatoon
An increase in petty crimes is among the reasons the City Council is working to remove vendors from the environs of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), according to Town Clerk, Royston King.
Despite being removed on Monday (August 07, 2017), some of the vendors returned to the location today (Tuesday, August 08, 2017). The Council has pledged to once again have those persons removed.
King explained that several persons have been complaining about the area being congested when they visit to conduct their business.
“It is unacceptable. That is a place where not only locals, but international people as well as corporations visit to do business. It’s the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and that particular area must be left clear. More than that, we’re now experiencing a situation in our country and city where you have, apparently, increased criminal activities, pick-pockets and all of that. We’re monitoring that situation at the level of the constabulary and we couldn’t encourage people to crowd-out the entrances and the exits to GRA,” King told News Room.
He pledged to have the persons relocated to an area designated for vending, providing that they are in possession of food handling certificates and other documents needed to conduct their businesses.
Vendors told the News Room that they pay $1,500 every week to the Council; a fee which they believe allows them to continue vending at the location.
However, the Town Clerk clarified that, “the $1,500 is a cleansing fee, not to make their operations legal because as I said we have to clean up and if they’re using the space, they must make a contribution to cleaning up the city.”
While the vendors claimed that they clean the area themselves, King said this is not so, as the Municipality workers cut the grass and clean the area every weekend.
The vendors told the News Room that they have been working at the location for a number of years.
One woman, whose main customers are students of the St Margaret’s Primary School, related that this is the only way for her to provide for her family.